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With Xbox One having few exclusives, is Titanfall the one game to put it over the top?

Perspective is a powerful thing in the gaming industry. How fans perceive a company is generally important, but for gaming a company’s profile is amplified ten times. Microsoft’s DRM turnaround and symbolic embracing of self-publishing is quickly turning heads, though some are still scorned even after Microsoft reversed its antics.

And now that Xbox One mostly matches the PS4 in functionality terms, pricing and exclusive titles become the vocal points. Or the rallying cries for the legions of fanboys who still insist on arguing aimlessly over the Internet. The notable game to watch in this console tug-of-war is Titanfall, the first from Respawn, a studio formed by ousted Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella.

Sweeping up E3 awards, Titanfall grabbed the show’s attendees by the heartstrings. Just before Microsoft declared its intent to switch from those languishing policies amid public backlash, Respawn’s game was the Xbox brand’s proudest moment from the show. The higher profile given to Titanfall–facing titanic expectations and seemingly fulfilling them easily–was Microsoft’s one shining takeaway from an otherwise disastrous conference. Xbox One has other exclusives, sure, but none had the roaring applause that Titanfall received.

Can Titanfall then be a console seller? Since the two consoles offer essentially the same package, a single game might be the crux needed to put one over the top. That is assuming Respawn’s first is a runaway hit critically upon release–a vital point given that Microsoft’s Xbox One so far has a limited impressive games list. At this point, Microsoft has underplayed its card: Forza, a barely free Killer Instinct and the promise of another Halo in the saga are not enough. Objecting to the rule is Dead Rising 3, maybe, but if that’s a console-seller is impossible to know.

With EA as publisher, it’s surprising to see Titanfall as an Xbox One exclusive, for the very reason that EA loves making money. One platform offers less availability, unless Microsoft signed a lucrative deal with both EA and Respawn. To that end, the high-profile game means that much more to Microsoft, and the console-maker intends to push it in advertising to sell units. The only problem with that strategy: Titanfall isn’t a launch title. Exposure from it could have driven Xbox One sales during Christmas, the hottest consumer period, but the game won’t arrive in time.

There is the notion that Titanfall may be coming to PS4 also, but in 2015. When asked by Eurogamer, lead artist Joel Emslie said the development team wants as many people to play as possible. EA vice-director Patrick Söderlund later rebuked those claims, giving the corporate answer, “We haven’t communicated anything on that, and I can’t comment on that right now.” He added later, “We’re proud to be exclusive to Xbox.”

Whether a timed exclusive or not, Microsoft is banking on Titanfall to prime those unconvinced to go Xbox One. I can personally say games aren’t the persuader for me this time around. But how invaluable Titanfall is to Microsoft is undeniable at this point.

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  • Ru

    Interesting that you say xbox one has so few exclusives, yet you list quite a few in your blog

    Lets be clear
    titanfall is not a console seller, it’s coming out on PC and 360

    This article is just dribble from a ps4 fanboy

    The real selling point is that the xbox one has more exclusives at launch which are better than ps4

    Drive club is trumped by forza

    Kill zone, always bored me and battlefield 4 will trump it (yes I know not am exclusive )

    Knack is just ….. Awful to say its a system seller
    It’s a kids game, and kids will be happier with a new game on their current console

    • Damnkidsthesedays

      Considering Jeff neither has a PS3 nor has he committed himself to buying a PS4 while primarily doing his gaming on the PC and 360 I highly doubt “PS4 fanboy” applies to him. In fact, your whole post screams xbox fanboy yourself and far less objective than what Jeff has in his article.

      Good Job kiddie.

      • JerkDaNERD7

        But why knit pick such moot points and emphasize so much on like his cleverly getting at something?!

        It simply reaks with Sony fanboy sentiments.

    • JeffHeilig

      Titanfall is an Xbox One console exclusive. People buying it for PC won’t think twice about buying it for console, so I separated the two markets. If that wasn’t clear in my article, my fault. I thought it was implied.

      Your points don’t make any sense. I’m not a Sony fanboy either. Fanboy-ism is a stupid concept. And how would you know Forza trumps Driveclub? Have you played Driveclub?

      • Ien

        Of course his points don’t make sense. You can tell by the tone of his post that he is fanboish at the very least as he’s trying hard to justify something. His whole post hinged on his belief and not general consensus across the gaming community.

        It’s stupid, don’t know why fanboys are so desperate to hang on to their own reality but whatever, ultimately they are short-changing themselves.

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